Wednesday 27 September 2017


What to do if you find a stray grey well ahead of pension pot? Reach for the bleach? Go au naturel? Or freak the hell out? That was a decision I faced aged 23. Genetically I haven't been blessed in the follicle department -  early onset greys run in the Green family and by 25 I had a handful of  stray greys that I could no longer ignore. 

Dealing with greys in your twenties is a very personal decision - I have utmost respect for any one who decides to the bypass the bleach and let nature take it's course. A couple of years ago I worked on a shoot with British Vogue Features Director Sarah Harris, who possesses an incredible, ethereal mane of white-grey hair. Combined with her innate sense of style, Sarah's stand-out hair has made her a regular in the fashion week street style round-ups. Turning grey at the tender age of 16,  she decided to embrace her silver shade, tiring of the frequent salon visits to conceal her roots (I really enjoyed reading her honest account in The Telegraph).  However, if you have 95% of your natural colour intact like myself, what's the best solution? 

I have to credit the magical team of colourists at Headmasters for coming to my rescue here. Having been a client for several years, I've received an education on how best to conceal through 'couture colour'. There's some really clever techniques and optical illusions that can be created without spending an absolute fortune / living in the salon. 
Sophie Green

Gloss your hair

Whilst it's true that permanent dye covers 100% of grey hair, it also creates harsh tell-tale regrowth. Headmasters reiterate saying 'step away from allover colour, it's far too extreme.' The flattering alternative is a glossing colour treatment or colour wash that will blend your greys with your natural hair colour. Glossing is also great for conditioning your hair, which is pretty important as some greys can have a dry, wiry texture. 

Reach for the bleach

I mean this in a metaphorical sense, it's a risky business using bleach on your own hair. This is something to discuss in a consultation with your stylist as adding a little blonde to frame the face is such a clever and flattering way to conceal a few stray greys. It's my tried and tested technique as it creates a clever optical illusion - to the untrained eye greys appear to be blonde. I have a little bit of balayage going on through my hair at the moment and a little blonde through my long bangs which does the job nicely. 

Use a hair touch-up in between appointments

In recent years quite a few hair touch-up products have arrived on the market that can be sprayed or painted onto your roots in-between salon visits. These are life savers when your stylist is fully booked for the foreseeable. Having tried a few brands, my absolute favourite is the Josh Wood range from Marks & Spencer.
Sophie Green


People being people, you'll probably receive one or two personal comments related to your hair. I remember one ex-colleague asking me if 'I realised I had grey hairs?' - which seemed bizarre given I see myself in the mirror each day. My advice is not to  take these throwaway comments to heart - initially it made paranoid and convinced everyone was focusing on hairline.  That's really not the case, of course. I know this much because it took my ex-boyfriend six months of dating to notice (!) -  rest assured it's not as noticeable as it feels. 

Lighten up 

Whilst allover bleach might seem like the obvious choice,  it's actually much more natural to mix lighter and darker panels of colour through the hair, mimicking the natural tones found throughout your locks. Mixed with some face-framing babylights (teeny highlights!), this is the most natural approach and how Headmasters create their couture colours. 

Colour that one stray grey 

If you have one or two stray greys, don't reach for the dye. Regular colouring is an expensive and time-consuming habit that I'd suggest putting off as long as possible. I waited until I was 25 to do anything about my greys because they weren't really visible to anyone bar myself. 
Sophie Green

Thank you to Tia from Headmasters Soho who cut and coloured my hair here - I can't recommend Tia more highly! Find out more about Headmaster's Mask Your Grey's colouring services

Photos: JCPhoto

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